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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  September 21, 2015 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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today. hallie jackson has that story for us. >> he insists he will not apologize. >> i don't care what a person's religious background is, if, in fact, they believe in our constitution and our american values, i would support them. >> now calling on carson to drop out of the republican race after this response on "meet the press" about whether a president's faith should matter to voters if. >> if it fits within the realm of american and consistent with the constitution, i have no problem. >> so do you believe that islam is consistent with the constitution? >> no, i do not. i would not advocate that we put into into a muslim in charge of this nation. i wouldn't agree with that. >> i wouldn't advocate for -- i hate to say this -- i wouldn't advocate for hillary clinton to be president. does that make me anowti-women? >> what he said, it
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was not right. it was wrong. and hurtful. and america is better than that. >> not long ago, some people thought that a catholic cannot be a president. and an african-american cannot be a president. they were wrong then and they are wrong now. >> reporter: the year before john f. kennedy was elected one in four americans wouldn't vote for a catholic to be president. nearly half said they wouldn't support a black candidate. 50 years later the pope set to meet with the first african-american president in the white house. today four in ten americans wouldn't support a muslim in the office. >> some people have said it already happened, frankly. but of course you wouldn't agree with that. >> reporter: the conversation about faith sparked by donald trump after he refused to denounce a man who called muslims a problem. >> i assumed he was talking about islamic. it's a problem. >> they have announced
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terror attacks carried out in the name of islam but they have not been able to shake the effects since 9/11. >> terrorism is not the true faith of islam. that is not what islam is all about. islam is peace. >> reporter: together trump and carson make up 30% to 40% of republican support. but carly fiorina is surging, appearing tonight on jimmy fallon. >> and putin is saying he wants to meet with trump when he comes here. >> the two of them have a lot in common, actually. >> as for carson, he tells me he would be happy to meet with the group calling on him to step down. a representative from the organization said carson is simply wrong, that islam is inconsistent with the constitution. >> hallie jackson, thank you. another major story tonight, in washington, d.c., new york and philadelphia, are bracing for what is being called an unprecedented security event as pope francis
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arrives in the u.s. tomorrow. he is currently taking part in a historic visit to cuba. our team is there and we'll show you that in a moment. but first nbc's stephanie gosk on the massive undertaking here in america to protect the pope. >> reporter: on the east river in new york city, the nypd shows off the newest boat. >> the cabin itself is bullet resistant. >> reporter: part of a security operation for the pope's five-day visit to the united states. three cities, washington, d.c., new york and philadelphia. 16 events and multiple processions open to the public. crowds at times over a million. >> the numbers coming to philadelphia could far exceed anything else that we've had in the city in modern times. >> reporter: each city will have thousands of law enforcement, snipers, s.w.a.t. team and helicopters. >> the entire fleet will be in the air and the ground goes into lockdown. the streets, the rivers and of course the air space as well.
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along with the pope, new york city is also hosting the u.n. general assembly. 170 world leaders. >> and on top of it all, by the way, the president is coming. >> the pope's visit is so large and complicated complicated, the secret service is in serve. among the challenges his desire to meet the faithful, people get excited and they want to touch and be around the pope but we have to be concerned that we can get out of me environment. >> reporter: in cuba, authorities arrested three political dissidents who tried to approach the pope. in the u.s., the big concern is small scale attacks inspired by isis. a pennsylvania bullet issued last week warned that terrorists may try to impersonate first responders but there is no specific mention of the papal visit. >> as we stand here on the bridge of the ship right now, there is no credible specific threat. >> reporter: officials say the key to success is the right balance between security and access.
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act, but this time on a historic scale. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. >> the pope will arrive tomorrow. and on the heels of the huge reception in cuba. nbc's anne thompson has that story from santiago decuba. >> reporter: a hero's welcome for pope francis in his limousine. this is the cuba agricultural heart and today it is the spiritual center. >> i'm in love. i'm in love with this person. >> reporter: for many cubans, pope francis is a not just improving their soul but they are very lives. this woman came to thank the pope for his role in bringing cuba and the u.s. closer together. >> papal francisco is a great man. >> reporter: at mass, with cuba's president raul castro sitting nearby, the pope acknowledged the church's struggles here. less than 20 years ago, repressed by the
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government, catholic soup kitchens ran in secret. today they operate freely as change slowly comes to this island nation. though the vatican is perceived as the institution of no. this pope says yes. emphasizing the positive, embracing people and eager to be among hisflock. but some wonder if his criticism of capitalism means that could change on u.s. soil. >> for most of the country's history, u.s. catholics were chasing the american dream to try to be successful. so they hear the message differently when they have reached the top of the economic ladder. >> reporter: tomorrow the pope heads north where everyone is excited to see the mass who simply by being himself has changed the image of the catholic church. anne thompson, nbc news, cuba. back in this country, wildfires burning in california have reached historic proportions as crews are battling several
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blazes across the state with more homes going up in flames. total damage among the most devastating california has ever seen. miggalal mig air has the report. >> reporter: within hours of the first flames, ten homes were gone. the latest wildfire to explode in northern california, quickly foasrced thousands to evacuate just outside of monterey. >> it is kind of just just leave. you are not prepared for that. >> in napa county, few were prepared for this. >> i wish it was a dream. i really do. i don't want it to be like this. >> today the count, nearly 1800 structures in middletown, more than a thousand homes are gone. the third most destructive wildfire in california history. entire neighborhoods were incinerated here. fierce flames jumping from ridge to ridge. when the fire crowns in these trees, the
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immediate concern isn't necessarily the blaze, it is the embers. they can float in the air for miles. and they aren't just taking homes. now the death toll is on the rise. >> our biggest concern is because of the far behavior is so erratic, just making sure everybody is safe. >> reporter: in the last two weeks, at least six have been killed. unable to get out. tonight historic losses being measured in more ways than one, with this dire forecast. the worst may still be to come. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. now to judgment day for the man at the center of a deadly outbreak that triggered the largest food recalls in america. nine people were killed and hundreds more sickened by tainted peanut butter and today a judge threw the book at a former peanut butter executive. pete williams reports. >> reporter: the man behind one of the worst cases of food contamination ever told victims in a georgia courtroom that he is truly sorry for
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food poisoning that sickened more than 700 people and blamed for nine deaths. this family said their son chris was hospitalized. >> it was agonizing. it was scary. >> stewart parnell, former owner of the peanut corporation of america was convicted in the first criminal trial in a food poisoning case from shipping peanut butter they knew was contaminated. and they found a leaky roof and insects and rodents at the plant. today parnell told victims gathered for his sentencing, i think about you guys every day. jeff came from minnesota to describe how his 72-year-old mother, a cancer survivor, died after eating contaminated peanut butter. you took my mom, he told parnell. you kicked her right
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off the cliff. jacob hully was sickened for him by the food. >> i think it is okay for him to spend of the rest of his life in prison. later today he was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison, the harshest penalty ever in the case of food contamination. pete wimgs, nbc news, washington. still ahead, tonight on a collision course, drivers pressing their luck at railroad crossings trying to beat trains bearing down on them. we capture many gam blging with their lives. and an act of listen up team, i brought in some protein to help rearrange the fridge and get us energized! i'm new ensure active high protein. i help you recharge with nutritious energy and strength to keep you active. come on pear, it's only a half gallon. i'll take that. yeeeeeah! new ensure active high protein. 16 grams of protein and 23 vitamins and minerals.
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we're back now with a striking look at something that has become a big problem across the country. drivers and pedestrians betting they can beat an oncoming train with tragic results. the number of ain-vehicle accidents is on the rise with 269 motorists killed in 20r 14. and over 900 pedestrians killed or injured. a staggering statistic and nbc's tom costello went to see the problem first-hand. >> reporter: it happens once every three hours. >> there is an amtrak train that just went by us that we think has hit a car. >> reporter: last month, a 44-year-old florida man w killed when police say he drove around the crossing gates and into the path ofcon amtrak train. among the highest accident rates in the country, san diego.
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how often do you see somebody cut ng right in front of you? >> it happens daily. >> daily? >> multiple times, every day. >> so we rode along with bnsf crews. >> he's goinple. through -- one, two. o>> as police went after drivers that rab the lights and went under the crossing arms and watch as we approach the intersection. 12 seconds, one car and then another cuts in front of the train. a few minutes later it happens again. down on the street, four more dodge the gates with police following close behind. >> license and registration. >> a freight train traveling at 55 miles per hour can take the length of 18 football fields to stop. amazingly 25% of accidents occur when a vehicle hits the side of the train and very often the crew doesn't even feel it. >> engineer just plumly vividly remembers the first time his train hit a car full of people.
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go around a gate one night, and drive head-on into my train. and i never will forget it. >> people died? >> yeah. >> on this day, officers wrote 172 tickets in just five hours. >> people are in such a hurry. >> reporter: pedestrians ticketed for ignoring the gates. the fine up to $450. but toerk in america the odds are someone else will die trying s to beat the train. tom costello, nbc news, th san diego. we're back in a moment with the explosiou that leveled one home and damaged several others without so you're a small business expert from at&t? yeah, give me a problem and i've got the solution. well, we have 30 years of customer records. our cloud can keep them safe and accessible anywhere. my drivers don't have time to fill out forms. tablets. keep it all digital. we're looking to double our deliveries. our fleet apps will find the fastest route. oh, and your boysenberry apple scones smell about done. ahh, you're good. i like to bake. add new business services
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neighbors say it sounded like a bomb. this is the aftermath following the explosion in waxahatchee, texas, that blew the roof off of a home. two people were injured with burned. nine other surrounding properties were damaged. it happened at 8:00
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this morning and investigators are still working to determine the cause. residents reported problems with gas lines. they have changed the way we use phones and take photos and could apple change the way we drive. the company has its sights set on rolling out a electric car by 2019 with a project with the code name titan. 12 million people watched the emmy's last night but the smaut elf audience. game of thrones walked away with best drama series and heap grabbed best comedy and viola davis was the first african-american to win best actress in a drama. >> the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. [ applause ] you cannot win an emmy for roles that are simply not there. >> also jon hamm
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finally won best actor foye his role in mad men. and tracy morgan made his emotional first appearance on stage since suffering a brain injure in a crash last year. when we come back, a little boy who captured the hearts around theoworld, kicking off a fresh start in life with the help of a soccer superstar. when my doctor told me i have age-related macular degeneration, amd we came up with a plan to help reduce my risk of progression. and everywhere i look... i'm reminded to stick to my plan. including preservision areds 2. my doctor said preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula that the national eye institute recommends to help reduce the risk of progression rv ai of moderate to advanced amd... after 15 ears of clinical studies. preservision areds 2. because my eyes are everything. the cold truth is, (coughing) you can't work from home when you're sick. you need real relief. alka-seltzer plus day cold & flu has three cold symptom fighters to relieve your tough symptoms. stay unstoppable. (truck horn)
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finally tonight, the whole world saw the disturbing pictures earlier this month of a syrian refugee running from hungarian police with his young sonein his arms, falling to the grou0, after being deliberately tripped by a camera woman. but amid the outrage, a ray of hope. promise of a fresh start and a new life for the man and his son and their entire family. from spain, we get the story from nbc's jacob rascon rascon. >> they were welcomed like celebrities. >> i love you. i love my dream. i love it here. >> for this man and his 7-year-old son, no longer refugees. among the millions of syrians who fled the war, making a long and difficult journey to hungary and then this -- the indignity
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scene around the world. >> how did you feel once she did that. >> i was very, very angry, because my child is crying, crying. >> zaid tells me with a smile, if i ever see that woman again, i want to fight her. miguel, director of madrid soccer academy had a different idea. >> in syria, osama was a professional coach. so the soccer academy in spain offered him a job, no resume and no interview. the only thing he has to do is learn spanish. >> how is your spanish? >> spanish is -- >> lessons start this week. but when it comes to soccer, zaid is already fluent. he was even invited on to the field with worldwide soccer superstar cristiano ronaldo. the academy also gave the man an apartment and we were there when he learned the entire
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family, including his wife and children still in turkey, can apply for asylum in spain. >> thank you. very, very nice people here. very nice. i cannot -- that is proof. >> the father and son who became symbols of the humanitarian crisis promised a new life. jacob rascon, nbc news, madrid. a great out com to what was a horrible story. that will do it for us on this monday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for
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>> viola davis makes history, tracy morgan's return and sofia makes wedding news. >> extra. >> the emmys right now. >> hot couples news. >> what about the wedding gown? >> um. >> steamy confessions.
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if i had a nickel every time that hand. >> the stars dripping in sweat. >> i wish there was a water fall. >> it is a thousand degrees out here like a wet t shirt contest. >> who literally fainted? how they kept tracy morgan's surprise appearance like a state secret. >> how to get away with an emmy. >> our backstage party with the winners. target trump. the red carpet divide over the donald. >> we're going to have trump as president. >> plus. >> boxers briefs. >> spanx or commando. >> the fashion fight to the funnish. >> the best dressed is. >> right now on. >> extra, extra. >> i'm amy shumer with mario lopez and we're together now.
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>> hey everybody. i'm mario lopez. and it is over 100 degrees out here. very hot and speaking of which, you ladies look amazing. >> thank you. you look very handsome yourself and this entire red carpet is filled with beautiful people. >> all of your favorite tv stars are here. >> tv's hottest stars. sofia. >> how are you? >> i'm great. >> my whole life i knew this would happen. why haven't you aged? >> on hollywood's hottest red carpet, literally. >> look at this. like a wet t shirt. >> this is how we do the emmys extra style. extra! here comes hollywood's most beautiful, most talked about couple, sofia getting a quick kiss from joe and then coming straight to me to dish. >> i know the wedding is at the end of the year. >> hopefully. busy.
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>> too much craziness. >> are you planning it or who? >> me. of course me. you know, i ask joe the important things but i am -- i do everything. >> what about the wedding gown? >> i'm wearing a very special dress. >> so you have to get it. >> all beaded. >> a lot of dancing. >> a lot of dancing. and i lot of party. >> her co-stars ready, too. >> party down? >> you can't keep up with her people. no, no, no. it's like a train you jump off. you sleep, you jump on. >> cake. i would get her hot tomales and marshmallows. >> everybody wants to be at that wedding and you will be there. >> gaga arriving without taylor, carrie caught snapping this selfie. >> how is the little one doing? >> she is perfection. >> how old is she now?

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